Today is Valentine’s Day, or Singles Awareness Day for the more cynical individuals. It’s a day for expressing love and affection towards a special someone. Millions of bouquets of flowers, boxes of chocolate, and greeting cards will be sold, specifically to let your special someone know how important they are. Jewelers will tell you there is no better way, for you to tell the person you love, how much you love them, than with a gift of really expensive jewelery.
What a bunch of crap.
I am now convinced that there hasn’t been a song written about what love truly is. I am also convinced that the same goes with greeting cards. It started with the romantic poets, such as Byron, Keats, Shelley and Browning. They are wonderfully romantic, but not terribly realistic. Fast-forward to the late 19th and early 20th centuries – the Tin Pan Alley songwriters are cranking out “June-moon-spoon” lyrics. Very idealistic. Then comes the sophisticated composers of the 20’s and 30’s, such as Gershwin, Cole Porter and Jerome Kern, among others. They’re writing the “standards”: wonderful songs with memorable melodies, but the shows are forgettable. Those types of songs are carried over into the 40’s and 50’s. By the 1970’s, the singer-songwriters are writing love songs more personal and introspecitve than anything before, setting the standard for love songs up until now.
What those songs lack, however, is intimacy. Most love songs are written about those feelings of infatuation, not about a lasting love. There are singers writing intimate songs. Sarah McLachlan (sigh) is one of them. She does take love down to the very bone, revealing a very personal and sensuous perspective.
Intimacy, not infatuation, is what most people want. The bonding of spirit and physical, intellect and sexuality. It’s what really makes a good relationship great. Not many folks reach that level. They might believe they have, but most likely they haven’t. It’s not about sharing a love for Mexican food, county fairs, sunsets at the beach or growing up in the same town. It goes much deeper. It the willingness to bare yourself to your partner, laying open your soul and confessing your deepest thoughts, fears, desires and dreams without reprocussion. No dating service can offer that.
I remember wonderful and intimate moments from the past. It’s sharing a stream-of-consciousness converation that takes you everywhere and anywhere. It’s sharing a painful episode fromthe past triggered by an event in the present. It’s making love and, just before reaching orgasm, opening your eyes to your lover’s face, seeing deep into her soul and knowing that you are in there with her. It’s laughing, crying, and sharing your life, knowing there is someone who knows you and wants you there.
If there is a song about that, I’d love to hear about it.
The love and intimacy that we all want is out there. The elements are there and the stars need to be aligned. The Universe will tell you when all is right.
I’m not cynical about love. I’m just cynical about the holiday. Express your love all year, not just on one day, I say. Give yourself the opportunity to fall in love with your someone every day of the year. Give flowers to no reason, plan a special retreat, give them a couple extra hours of sleep aftera tough week – they can be simple but meaningful gifts.
If you do nothing else, give your lover a message: I love you with all my heart, no matter what day. What happens to you is important to me. I want to share my life with you, but not make you my life. I want to be with you.